Does wearing a mask make you more attractive?
Well, a British study suggests that this is the case — particularly the blue surgical kind.
With masks mandatory in most indoor settings in New Zealand, and now for students Year 4 and up, the research might have some importance.
Researchers at Cardiff University were curious to know whether the pandemic had altered perceptions of attractiveness.
The study — published in the peer-reviewed journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications — asked 43 women to rate the attractiveness of 40 male faces, with and without different types of masks and coverings.
The results were interesting. Before Covid, participants had said they associated masks with disease and would avoid people who wore them.
But the research found that faces were considered significantly more attractive when covered by cloth masks than when not covered at all.
The current research shows the pandemic has changed our psychology in how we perceive the wearers of masks.